Your stomach, which is attached to the end of the esophagus, is a stretchy sack shaped like the letter J. It has three important jobs:
- to store the food you’ve eaten
- to break down the food into a liquidly mixture
- to slowly empty that liquidy mixture into the small intestine
The stomach is like a mixer, churning and mashing together all the small balls of food that came down the esophagus into smaller and smaller pieces. It does this with help from the strong muscles in the walls of the stomach and gastric (say: gastric) juices that also come from the stomach’s walls. In addition to breaking down food, gastric juices also help kill bacteria that might be in the eaten food.
Your stomach has a very stretchy wall so that it can expand to hold big meals. Glands in the wall make acid and enzymes that start digesting protein in meat.